From Our Early Files Sept. 9, 2023




September 10, 1998

A Whitehall man has been honored by a music-industry trade magazine for the second time. Norm Herman has been nominated for a King Eagle Award by Airplay International, an independent radio-charting service and trade magazine in Nashville, Tenn. Herman was nominated for the “Trailblazer” songwriting award for his composition of “The Toast of Titletown,” A tribute to the Green Bay Packers and their fans. The award also recognizes Herman’s work with area country and western and old-time music singers and songwriters over the years. 

Based on preliminary figures calculated the week after it closed for the season, the new Whitehall Family Aquatic Center exceeded expectations in its first year. Not only did revenues from the $1.1 million facility, which replaced the city’s 25-year-old swimming pool, exceed what were admittedly conservative estimates, but expenses for the new, more-efficient equipment were below what was anticipated. 

The Trempealeau County Tourism Council has been given statewide recognition for its work, including its first-in-the-state rural bus tour program. The council, founded five years ago by citizens working with the county government, was honored last week by Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. The council was recognized as one of Wisconsin’s top 50 rural development initiatives during the Governor’s Rural Summit 2, held in Mosinee. 

Two rural electric cooperatives serving more than 11,500 customer members in a six-county region in Western Wisconsin are studying a possible merger. Buffalo Electric Cooperative of Alma and Trempealeau Electric Cooperative of Arcadia are investigating a merger to strengthen services and position them better to compete in a free market as electrical companies become more deregulated. 

The Trempealeau village board reconsidered allowing a conditional use permit for a duplex in a single-family zoned area. The board voted Tuesday night not to allow Dave Rolbiecki to build a two-family home at 24767 Second Street. This action came after board member Gene Gawlik moved to reconsider the board’s previous decision allowing the duplex to be built. Gawlik voted in favor of allowing the conditional use at a prior meeting. “I just changed my mind, that’s all,” Gawlik said. “And I think I went the wrong way.”

After comments by almost all Trempealeau village board members Tuesday night, the board agreed to work toward emending the village ordinances to allow retail sales in residential districts. 

Trempealeau County traffic sergeant Terrence Daffinson scored a decisive primary victory over Stephen Doerr in the race for the Republican nomination for county sheriff. Daffinson secured 947 votes while Doerr had 224 in the county’s only contested race.  


September 13, 1973

The city of Whitehall was notified this week that the federal Farmers Home Administration had approved a $1.55 million loan that will be used for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. Because of tougher federal standards, the estimated cost of the sewage plant is about $1 million higher than projected when the city signed an agreement with the Whitehall Packing Co., whose overloading of the existing treatment facilities led the state to require that a new plant be built.

The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission last week issued a ruling that apparently sided with the Whitehall Teachers Association in its complaint against the Whitehall district school board over the 1971-72 master contract.

An 81-yard kickoff runback by Glenn Thompson set up a touchdown pass from Jack Radcliffe to Thompson with six minutes left, giving Eleva-Strum Central a 14-12 win over the Norse. Brian Knudtson and Dave Pientok ran for touchdowns for Whitehall, but both extra-point tries failed, accounting for Central’s margin of victory.

Members of the 1928 graduating class of the Arcadia High School observed their 45th anniversary at the Arcadia Country Club on Sunday. Thirty-seven classmates and guests attended. Seventeen of the original 27 graduates were present, four classmates are deceased and six were unable to attend. 

Eugene Killian of Arcadia has been named to an advisory committee formed to represent the total population falling in the geographic area of the Northwest Career and Continuing Education Center, Arcadia. Others on the committee are Melvin Samplawski, Blair; Joseph Greshik and Arlie Everson, Cochrane; Donald Haug and Don Hendrickson, Galesville; Roland Gullickson, Holmen; OJ Evenson and Frank Kasmierczek, Independence; Joe Lien, Melrose and Alyn Larson, Whitehall. 

The Arcadia Raiders football team was a unanimous choice for the top spot in the first area Prep Football Poll held this week. Arcadia has picked up three convincing wins in their opening performances and their defensive unit remains unscored upon. 

Enrollment at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Senior High School for the 1973-74 school year is 495 – a gain of approximately eight students over the previous year.

Father Michael Lynch and his Lynch Gang (girls) and Lynch Mob (boys) will present a musical program at the First Presbyterian Church in Galesville on Sept. 20. 

Bruce Nichols, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Nichols, left Tuesday from Chicago for Oslo, Norway. He will begin his senior year under the Oslo, Winona State Exchange Program. Bruce is a 1970 graduate of Trempealeau High School. 


September 9, 1948

The Whitehall fire department was called to the Will Schaefer farm home in the town of Hale Tuesday morning to put out a fire that had started in the attic and walls. The house was not destroyed, but damage from water and smoke was extensive.

Thomas Bakken, a 29-year-old employee of the Pigeon Falls State Bank, was killed in a two-car collision north of Rice Lake Monday. His wife and son Tommy escaped with minor injuries; the latter was trapped between the seats of the Bakens’ overturned Jeep, and rescued before it caught fire and burned.

Eugene Smith, Whitehall, World War II veteran, was the first two register with Clerk Clarence Johnson for the peacetime draft registration in Trempealeau County. A total of 56 were registered in this county Monday, and another 100 on Tuesday.

Stephen, the 15-month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Alton Berg, suffered first- and second-degree burns on the face, neck and right arm Friday, when he tipped a pan of hot fat onto himself.

The recently-incorporated village of Ettrick held its first election Sept. 2, choosing Ingwal Erickson as president

Trempealeau REA’s beautiful new and modern headquarters building, ideally located near the city park in Arcadia, now has a home of its own after 11 years of existence in the county. The office was moved last Thursday to the new building from the temporary quarters in the Arcadia Implement company building, which REA occupied since September of last year.

Marvin Larson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Larson of Waumandee received painful injuries to his arms, knee and back in a motorcycle accident Sunday evening. He was traveling near Waumandee when the front wheel of the vehicle began to shimmy and he lost control of it. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment. His injuries consisted mostly of the loss of skin.


September 13, 1923

The 1923-24 school year for Whitehall opened Monday morning. In the high school, the enrollment is 128, 68 of these being tuition students. This is the largest enrollment ever recorded, and there are yet those within the vicinity of Whitehall who should be in school, to make the enrollment at least 140 this year. Every parent owes his child an education at least through high school. Especially is this true when there is not tuition charge for the parents to pay.

A.M. Dake of the pickling station reports the receipt of more than 100 bushels of cucumbers last Friday, the best day for cukes of the season.

The Whitehall Tennis Club defeated the Independence club in two out of three matches Saturday. Thurman Van Tassel, Hillman Arneson, Rodney Wilken, Miles Johnson, Walter Risberg, Herbert Holtan and Frank Larson played for Whitehall. La Crosse comes here for a tournament next Friday, and everyone is invited to attend the match.

Julius Jacobson, living on the former Fred Sather farm, lost about five acres of fine tobacco by the frost of last night. He had harvested about four acres of his crop. Anton Davidson of Irvin Coulee lost practically all of his crop of about eight acres. Considering the labor and value of the crops, it is a heavy loss to these gentlemen.

The large courtroom at Whitehall was packed to capacity for a hearing by the joint committee of the state highway commission and legislative highway committee for additional mileage to be placed on state trunk lines of Trempealeau and adjoining counties. Of the many projects proposed, the one having the most supporters was the road between Arcadia and Blair, though Newcomb Valley. 

Five Bluff Siding farmers were arraigned in Buffalo County court at Alma on charges of manufacturing and possession of liquor following raids on their farms by federal and county authorities. All five were freed on $1,000 bond. 

Mrs. J.P. Michalski leased her building on Main Street in Arcadia to E.A. Paetow for a baker shop. 

Plans are made for an old fiddler’s contest to be held in Galesville. It should be a real match among the fiddlers in nearby areas, including Everett McWain, Clarence Sacia, Alf Hannan, Bill Wadleigh, Knute Slater, Bill Smith, Otto Linburg, Tom Langston, John Oliver and many more.

The Emmet Amundson home on Porter Heights is the handsomest in Trempealeau County. The exterior is stucco finish, with screened living and sleeping porches. The home cost $8,000. 


September 8, 1898

An interesting attraction at the Whitehall fair last week was the drill by Capt. Berg’s company of boy soldiers in front of the grandstand.

Mrs. Marion Skauge has taken the position of saleslady with Solsrud, Kidder and Co. To illustrate the amount of business that this firm does, it is only necessary to state that seven hands are required to wait on customers, and they are kept busy as bees.

Elling Olson’s team got scared at the cars while in the lumber yard Monday and ran away, throwing Mr. Olson out of the wagon. He was picked up insensible and severely bruised, but none of his bones were broken.

Mrs. Christian Everson, living about two miles south of the village, had her mammoth farm barn struck by lightning and burned last Thursday afternoon. The building was full of hay, and contained considerable grain, three calves, several pieces of machinery, harness, etc. Two stacks of grain standing nearby were also destroyed. The loss is estimated at between $1,700 and $1,800, and Mrs. Everson will receive about $1,200 from her insurance through the Trempealeau County Mutual.

John Smallen, a farmer living near Square Bluff, while returning home from the fair Thursday night, fell out of his wagon onto his horses’ heels and was kicked to death. 

Section Foreman Van Horn received a new hand-car yesterday, to take the place of the one he had cleaved in two by being struck by an excursion train east on the first curve east of town Friday. His men were on the car at the time, but jumped and saved their lives.

Elk Creek — Charles Cilley has just completed a fine dwelling house for the Kopka brothers. When it comes to building, Charles takes a back seat for no mechanic.

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